Justice, justice, you shall pursue.

– Deuteronomy 16:20

Writing a Letter to the Editor

Writing an Effective Letter to the Editor

Do: 

  • Respond directly to a recent article, editorial, letter, or local event. Be sure to reference the publication date and title of the article.
  • Focus on a single issue.
  • Keep it brief. Stick to the publication’s word limit, usually 250 max, often less.
  • Use verified facts.
  • Start with a strong opening statement that establishes your position.
  • Use plain language and personal stories.
  • Look at other recently published letters to get an idea of what the publication looks for when deciding what to print.

Don’t

  • Resort to insults, loaded language, exaggeration, or name-calling. It can damage your credibility.
  • Use insider jargon or acronyms regular readers are unlikely to know.
  • Use ALL CAPS or bold to emphasize your points.
  • Send your letter as an attachment. Many publications won’t open attachments.
  • Submit your letter to multiple publications at a time. Most want exclusive content.

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